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Things are unraveling fast! Like really really fast!!
“Please let me try to explain everything,” Chance begged. “If you listen… if you give me a moment, I swear I will never speak to you ever again if you so choose it, Keath.”
The woman who was to massage her came into the room and looked at Chance in disapproval. She then saw Elena’s tear stained face. “Would you like to me call security?”
Elena looked triumphant at the idea, but knew she needed to listen to him despite his own deceit. Maybe it was also the fact that he called her by her first name so endearingly and it was hard to refuse him anything sounding like her father, plus she had some things to tell him as well and she knew he was the only one who could help her decipher what Lori and Vick were talking about.
Sighing with hope she would not regret this decision, she said, “No, please don’t call security. Get him a chair to sit in the corner. He’ll stay out of your way while he talks and I will listen.” She had been told earlier that every employee was sworn to secrecy not only about the clients they service, but also they signed confidentiality agreements and could never repeat anything they heard the clients discuss.
The masseuse left for a moment to get a chair.
“I’ll listen to what you have to say, Chance, but nothing you say or do will make me want to even see them ever again. So if you’re here to appeal to me to accept and forgive what they’ve done to me, you might as well leave now.”
“Sloan too?” Chance questioned
She hadn’t made her mind up about Sloan and the wedding day which was to take place tomorrow. Resolving to hear what Chance had to say before she made up her mind about, she ordered, “Just talk, Chance. Say what you have to say and then we’ll go from there.”
The masseuse returned and Chance sat in the chair, while Elena situated herself on the table. She wasn’t embarrassed to be partially naked with Chance, since he was her doctor.
“I knew Pholsom in college. We shared a dorm room the first semester until he demanded his own.”
She knew she was walking into personal business, but she was too curious. “Why’d he want his own dorm room so bad?”
Chance blushed. “He was tired of the noise and the traffic.”
Chance blushed harder and she rolled her eyes fully knowing Chance must have had every girl on the campus coming and out of his dorm room.
“I take it you aren’t saving yourself for marriage,” she said sarcastically.
Chuckling, he said, “Word got out what I was packing by the first day and I was like a carnival –everyone wanted to take a ride. I was at an age that hell, I had the stamina and I wasn’t worried about being committed. Women were throwing and I was catching.” He shrugged not at all guilty about his hey days of college. “Although, I learned a valuable lesson from sleeping with almost every woman on campus – never eat where you shit.”
She chuckled only a little needing the small humor Chance always offered, but she still rolled her eyes again. “So he got his own room and?”
“But we stayed close. I became a very close friend and got to know him well. He missed his brother like crazy who had stayed at home. Phoenix got a full scholarship from Harvard all the way up to his Masters, but every course he took was either online or by other means. I don’t think that man left the house more than ten days all the while he was attending college. He graduated with a 4.1. Who the fuck graduates out of the grading scale?” This was a rhetorical question because he kept going. “Needless to say, Phoenix was a genius, but Pholsom had to work like a dog just to make a C and a Hebrew slave for a B. Pholsom kept his nose in books hard. He wasn’t a people person and having a friendship with me really relieved his stress about being around people.”
“Because you’re so charming,” she said sarcastically.
“Well, that and I’m hung like a horse helps with the women,” he said blatantly.
The masseuse snorted, gasped and trembled all at the same time. Elena saw Chance wink at the masseuse.
“Can you please continue about Phoenix and Pholsom and less about you?” Elena growled.
Chance became serious. “Pholsom told me all about his relationship with Phoenix. They were always close even though they were almost a year apart –Phoenix birthday falls one day before Pholsom, but they were born at the same time. They’re Irish twins.”
“And they look alike,” she observed.
“I noticed that immediately, too,” Chance said. “At the time I was taking a whole lot of gynecology and psychological classes. When I realized how really close they were – on a Christmas trip home with Pholsom – I told him that Phoenix was just trying to live vicariously through him and if Pholsom didn’t cut the ties, Phoenix would never fully get over his agoraphobia.” He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “Well, Phoenix immediately took this to mean I was trying to come between them and has hated me viciously since then. Pholsom and I further distanced ourselves when I also questioned his parentage the next year when I meant Sloan.”
“What do you mean?”
Chance frowned. “You don’t think something shady about that lame story Pholsom sticks to abut his mother leaving and dying off in some foreign land and not knowing who is father is?”
Elena couldn’t understand why Chance didn’t believe what Pholsom had said. “I took it at face value, Chance.”
“You met Sloan, right?”
“And you met Phoenix?”
“And you notice all of them have gray eyes.”
Chance snorted. “Those are colored contacts! He has gray eyes, Keath.”
“But why would Pholsom believe Sloan isn’t his father and why would Sloan acknowledge him only as his nephew and not his son – all his life?!” she stressed.
Chance shrugged again. “Sometime a lie is better to believe than the truth.”
“What do you think the truth is?”
“That his own father doesn’t even love him enough to acknowledge him or give him his last name. He’s a bastard and if you look at the marriage certificate, Sloan married Phoenix’s mother when she was six months pregnant with Phoenix and three days after his first divorce was final.”
“Who is this woman? How is she so vicious?”
“Do you want me to go into that or finish with Phoenix and Pholsom?”
“We can go into that later. Continue?”
“Well, like I was saying they switched places a lot. Sometimes it was the only way Phoenix would get out of the house. Impersonating Pholsom gave him a cover and confidence to get over his sickness. Pholsom didn’t mind. His brother was extremely smart and a lot of the business Pholsom pulled was because of Phoenix’s know-how and decisions. Pholsom owes Phoenix a lot, but not his whole life, if you asked me.”
“So Phoenix is a genius of some kind?”
“His IQ hits up to about a one thirty and he has a doctorial in chemical science.”
Elena sat up. “He’s a rocket science?”
“In so many words, but he doesn’t make weapons. He’s one of the most elite perfumiers in the world. I heard a company took an insurance policy out on his nose alone.”
Was that why the scents were so strong that day? And why Pholsom’s scent is like it is?
“He’s a recluse and makes those scents in the house,” Chance continued looking astonished. “Companies all over the world pay him almost millions of dollars to create unique scents.”
“Why do you look amazed by this?” Elena questioned.
“Because that would be the last thing you’d think a person like Phoenix has a talent for when he’s so evil.”
She frowned. “Evil? He didn’t seem evil. He seemed nice.”
Chance snorted. “It’s like we’re talking about two different people and that just goes to show Phoenix is a psychopath.”
“Oh come on Chance, isn’t that a bit harsh? From the times I think I was around him I think he was about the sweetest person I’ve ever met. He seemed very visceral.”
“Crazy,” he corrected her.
By this time the masseuse time was done and Elena tipped the woman. Before leaving Chance stood up and handed the woman his card with another wink.
“Can you give us the room for another hour?” he asked her.
The masseuse blushes, smiling real wide and nodded before leaving them alone.
Sitting up on the table, she tightened the towel around her and looked earnestly at Chance. “So you know what they did to me?”
“Pholsom told me in so many words you were deceived.”
She relaxed at least feeling she wasn’t going to go crazy being the only one to know what had been done to her.
“I’m angry at them,” Chance said. “I didn’t know anything about their plan until I realize it myself, after you told me you went to Pholsom’s home and didn’t say anything about Phoenix. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know a thing about you until two days prior to meeting you. Pholsom told me Phoenix had urged Sloan to find you. They knew about the money your father left you and it was Phoenix that made the observation you probably knew nothing about the large amount of money. They knew from the past your family was over protective of you and Phoenix – again – noted what your family could do to you to get the money. Marrying Sloan was the solution to everyone’s problem. Sloan could make sure his money didn’t fall prey to his ex-wife, the marriage wouldn’t be questioned because Armando could show proof Sloan had been searching for you for a very long time, your inheritance would be saved from the wrong hands, while respecting your father’s wishes and the boys… well, they would have you in a perfect position to be close to you.”
“Close to me?”
“Phoenix – yet again – came up with the job opportunity. He felt Pholsom should meet you first because he’s the recluse, although Pholsom is the shier one.” He rolled his eyes. “It’s hard to explain. Well, Pholsom mentioned the investigator found out you worked in the hospital with me and showed me a picture of you. Two days later, fate brought you to the emergency room the same night I was working. I had to know what it was about you that had all the men intrigued – especially Phoenix. Hell I almost thought the man was gay from the way he acts around women, but he acts around everyone the same, except his family, with malicious distance. It’s odd, but he makes no bone about his animosity towards other humans. He’s highly OCD and he’s annoying as fuck, and that’s coming from me, who hardly gets takes anyone angry very serious.”
Elena exclaimed in disbelief, “This can’t be the same man!”
“Like I said, around family he’s different and you could be different for him.” He moved to her and placed his hands on her shoulders. “Keath, what are you going to do about the baby?”
“I really don’t know, especially since I don’t know who is the father of the child.”
“If you don’t have it or abort it those questions won’t matter, will they?”
Nodding in agreement, she said, “You’re right, but having this child could possibly mean I’d not only be the child’s mother and grandmother, if I marry Sloan.” She pressed her hands on her stomach. “Just answer me one more question, Chance.”
“Anything if I can.”
“Why did they do this? Why did they deliberately deceive me? Share me, if you will.”
Chance took a long deep breath and moved back to his chair before he started answering her question.
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